Jimmie Simpson

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This article is about the British motorcyclist. For the American actor, see Jimmi Simpson.
Jimmie Simpson
Nationality British
Born 1898
Died 1981 (aged 82–83)
Motorcycle racing career statistics
Isle of Man TT career
TTs contested 13 (1922-1934)
TT wins 1
Podiums 10

Jimmie H. Simpson (1898 — 1981)[1] was a British motorcycle racer.

Simpson spent many years as a works rider, first with AJS and later with Norton. He was one of the most successful riders before World War II.

Career[edit]

Beginnings[edit]

In 1922, Simpson took part in the Isle of Man TT for the first time. He competed in the 500 cc Senior TT race on a Scott and retired after half a lap with damage to his motorcycle.

Works rider for AJS (1923-1928)[edit]

In 1923, Simpson moved to AJS. His first TT for them was the 350 cc Junior TT and despite setting a new lap record for his class, he fell whilst leading the race by over a minute.

In 1924, Simpson took part in both the 500 cc Senior TT and the Junior TT and finished neither race. That year, the European Championship was held for the first time, at the Circuito di Milano in Monza, Italy. Simpson won the 350 cc race, becoming the first European champion in that category.

1925 saw Simpson once again take part in both the Senior TT and Junior TT races on the Isle of Man, as well as the Sidecar TT, in which he finished fifth. In the Senior TT he failed to finish but came third in the Junior TT. In July, Simpson won the UMF Grand Prix at Montlhéry on a Sunbeam.

In 1926, Simpson achieved his best result so far at the Isle of Man TT with second place in the Junior TT. He also won the 500 cc race at the Belgian Grand Prix, held at Spa-Francorchamps. The race carried the European Championship title and so Simpson won his second European title, albeit his only win in the 500 cc category. In August, Simpson won the 350 cc German Grand Prix at the AVUS track.

1927 was Simpson's most successful year so far. He came third in the Junior TT and again won the 350 cc European Championship at the German Grand Prix, held at the Nürburgring. He also won the 350 cc races at the Swiss, Belgian and Austrian Grands Prix.

Works rider for Norton (1929 onwards)[edit]

In 1929, Simpson moved to Norton. He failed to finish either the Senior or Junior TTs, but in 1930 he came third in the Senior TT before winning the 500 cc race at the inaugural Swedish Grand Prix, his first international win for Norton.

From 1931, Norton possessed a level of confidence in their single cylinder four stroke engines that would later lead to them dominating the larger 350 cc and 500 cc classes. At the Senior TT, Simpson became the first person to lap the Snaefell Mountain Course at 80 mph (130 km/h) but he retired. Once again he won the Swedish Grand Prix in the 500 cc category.

In 1932, Simpson came third at the Senior TT. He also won the 350 cc UMF and Belgian Grands Prix.

At the 1933 Isle of Man TT, Simpson finished second in the Senior TT to his team mate, Stanley Woods. He won the 350 cc Swedish Grand Prix which carried the European Championship title, becoming European Champion in the 350 cc class for the third time.

End of career (1934)[edit]

At the Isle of Man TT in 1934, Simpson finished second to his team mates in both the Senior and Junior TT. In the 250 cc Lightweight TT, Simpson competed on a Rudge. He beat his team mates, Ernie Nott and Graham Walker, whilst setting a new lap record for the class and securing his first victory at the TT, which was also to be Rudge's last.

Simpson won the 350 cc European Championship title for the fourth time at the Dutch TT. He also won the 350 cc German Grand Prix, the 350 cc and 500 cc Suiss Grands Prix, the 350 cc Belgian Grand Prix and the 350 cc Ulster Grand Prix

After retiring from active competition, Simpson joined the Shell petrol company as a member of its racing division.

Summary[edit]

Titles[edit]

Isle of Man TT wins[edit]

Year Category Motorcycle Average speed
1934 Lightweight (250 cc) Rudge 70.81 mph (113.96 km/h)

Race wins[edit]

A yellow background denotes that the race carried European Championship status

Year Category Motorcycle Race Circuit
1924 350 cc AJS Nations Grand Prix Monza
1925 500 cc Sunbeam UMF Grand Prix Montlhéry
1926 500 cc AJS Belgian Grand Prix Spa-Francorchamps
350 cc AJS German Grand Prix AVUS
1927 350 cc AJS Swiss Grand Prix Genf
350 cc AJS German Grand Prix Nürburgring
350 cc AJS Belgian Grand Prix Spa-Francorchamps
350 cc AJS Austrian Grand Prix Vösendorf
1930 500 cc Norton Swedish Grand Prix Saxtorp
1931 500 cc Norton Swedish Grand Prix Saxtorp
1932 350 cc Norton UMF Grand Prix Reims-Gueux
350 cc Norton Belgian Grand Prix Spa-Francorchamps
1933 350 cc Norton UMF Grand Prix Dieppe
350 cc Norton Swedish Grand Prix Saxtorp
1934 350 cc Norton Dutch TT Circuit van Drenthe
350 cc Norton German Grand Prix Badberg-Viereck
350 cc Norton Swiss Grand Prix Bremgarten
500 cc Norton Swiss Grand Prix Bremgarten
350 cc Norton Belgian Grand Prix Spa-Francorchamps
350 cc Norton Ulster Grand Prix Clady Circuit

References[edit]

  1. ^ Glon, Vincent. "Les Championnats du Monde de Courses sur Route – L'année 1981". Racing Memo (in French). Retrieved 11 May 2010. 
Sporting positions
Preceded by
None
350 cc Motorcycle European Champion
1924
Succeeded by
Tazio Nuvolari
Preceded by
Mario Revelli
500 cc Motorcycle European Champion
1926
Succeeded by
Graham Walker
Preceded by
Frank Longman
350 cc Motorcycle European Champion
1927
Succeeded by
Wal Handley
Preceded by
Louis Jeannin
350 cc Motorcycle European Champion
1933-1934
Succeeded by
Wal Handley